Released: 2013, Klonoshere/Seasons of Mist
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
The death metal scene has reached saturation point right now with so many bands coming and going that it’s become almost impossible to keep track of them all. Most strive, play well, but fall at the alter of mediocrity. One or two have that little bit extra that marks them out for survival, even success, if not greatness itself, and this was where Luxembourg’s Scarred had realistically found themselves prior to the release of this their second full album ‘Gaia-Medea’. Labelled as Gojira clones they seemed to have all the tools to hand but just needed everything to fall into place.
What they’ve achieved with ‘Gaia-Medea’ is to break free of those comparative shackles, often at times uncomfortably so, and create an album which both thrills and infuriates but is never dull. Far from being a stock standard death metal outfit they’ve moved on, revisiting their thrash origins in the process but adding so much more too. The upside is when they get it right such as on the technically pin sharp ‘Cinder’ you get the impression that they could be world beaters. Here, most of the heavy sub genres have been blended into one finely crafted earth shattering beast of a tune which for all the ferocity is still played with a silky smooth touch.
Unfortunately the downside to all this mixing and matching is that when it doesn’t work it can often become a bit messy, or in the case of ‘Idiosyncrasy’ even schizophrenic which sounds like two decent songs having a fight, or maybe two sides of the same song would be more accurate. There’s also a case to be made for losing just some of the bombast from things, mainly closing song ‘Medea’ which at nearly twelve minutes long still really fails to arrive at any kind of destination.
From a technical point of view Scarred are an impressive bunch, they play some often genuinely jaw dropping music, and they clearly have the nous to turn out great songs. The real problem with ‘Gaia-Medea’ is consistency, it floats along wonderfully well then hits you with something just a mite too out of kilter to be labelled artistic. Overall though it’s a good album, it avoids possible listener indifference by a long way, it has it’s moments but won’t be setting the world alight any time soon.
Review by Gary Trueman